LONDON: Eden Hazard was named England’s Footballer of the Year on Tuesday after his consistently outstanding performances throughout the season helped Chelsea win the Premier League title.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was second in the voting by members of the English Football Writers Association with Hazard’s Chelsea club mate and captain John Terry third.
The 24-year-old Belgian international midfielder adds the award to the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) honour he collected last month and becomes the first player from his country to claim the accolade since it was launched in 1948.
Only two other Chelsea players have won England’s most prestigious and soccer’s oldest individual honour — Gianfranco Zola in 1997 and Frank Lampard in 2005.
Kane, who has scored 30 goals in his first full season for Spurs and was awarded his first England cap, was named the PFA’s Young Player of the Year last month, while defensive rock Terry has played every minute of every Premier League game to date.
FWA chairman Andy Dunn told Reuters: “The list of truly world class players on the Football Writers’ Association roll of honour is a long one and Eden Hazard is a worthy addition.
“A creator, a goalscorer and the hardest of workers, he has been a constant source of threat for the champions.
“He has started all 36 Premier League matches Chelsea have played so far and, considering the particularly close attention he receives from opponents, that is a feat in itself.
“His electrifying, attacking talent has made him the first Belgian to win the Footballer of the Year award.
“He is a brilliant successor to Luis Suarez and we just hope he stays in the Premier League for a lot longer than Luis did after collecting the trophy.”
Uruguay striker Suarez, who won the award after scoring 31 goals for Liverpool last season, joined Spanish giants Barcelona before the start of this campaign.
Hazard collected 53 percent of the vote making him a comfortable winner, while he and Terry’s Chelsea team mates Cesc Fabregas, Branislav Ivanovic and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also featured in the top 10.
Four other players received votes: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal, David De Gea of Manchester United, Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Esteban Cambiasso of Leicester City. (Reuters)